From the volume The Fable of Leto by Orazio De Ferrari – The Return of a Masterpiece (Sagep Editori, 2016):
“Each of us has a dream. More than one, even.
For an antiques dealer who does his job inspired by a sincere love of art, somewhat like the fervor igniting the passion of a collector, the dream is of coming across a masterpiece. If then the antiques dealer allows himself the luxury of dreaming a little more, he imagines that the masterpiece is recognized as such by scholars and institutions.
The story that this volume aims to record is the retrieval of an extraordinary canvas by one of the main protagonists of Genoese painting in the seventeenth century. It is The Fable of Leto, signed by Orazio De Ferrari, and its existence was made known by a text of 1642 written by the Ligurian poet Luca Assarino. The painting has been taken back to Italy and temporarily displayed in Genoa, where it was created.
Its “return home” is greeted by an initiative that fulfills my dreams, before the work passes again from hand to hand, as is natural. Thanks to the care of Anna Orlando, who conceived and coordinated the initiative, and thanks to the hospitality of Musei di Strada Nuova, in the persons of director Piero Boccardo and curator Raffaella Besta, The Fable of Leto has the honor of being received, in the room of Palazzo Bianco where other De Ferrari canvases from the civic collections are displayed, by the mayor of Genoa Marco Doria and by the city councillor with responsibility for cultural matters Carla Sibilla, to both of whom goes my sincerest gratitude”.
From the catalogue Mario Arlati – Potenza del colore (Peruzzo Industrie Grafiche, 2014):
“At first, as soon as I became aware of such a serious and long crisis, I was stricken with fear. As time went by, after much thinking, I realized that this “global moment” could become a great opportunity. We were running forcibly toward nothing, “all of most of us”, always. Every value was lost: art, love, friendship, solidarity, the need to do something for others!
My thought was: what would I bring with me on the moon if I were the only person living there? Other than a few basic things, all the rest would be only and exclusively ancient art items, no matter the subject, no matter the age, only positive sensations, emotional tensions, together with the only two things that are immortal: love and art which, deep down, are the same thing. It is great to try and share with others the strong positive feelings that a work of art can convey, especially with those who have not experienced this before. It is splendid to live thinking that every day you come across something or, even better, someone to love!
“I speak familiarly to everyone I love / Even if I’ve seen them only once / I speak familiarly to all who are in love / Even if I don’t know them”, as recalls a beautiful poem by Jacques Prévert. These opportunities will create further cultural exchange, will open up new horizons of worlds mostly unknown to us; similarly, we will able to showcase, to an increasingly larger horizon, our absolute axcellence, not only of an artistic nature, for which our extraordinary country is second to none.
I wish to thank Banca Generali for giving me the opportunity to promote, in the best possible way, some of my most beautiful works. I also wish to thank Maestro Mario Arlati for choosing me in this joint project. Lastly, I am deeply grateful to all those who, since my early years, have helped me “seek to understand”, prompting an extraordinary path in life where I grasped the certainty that there is always something exceptional behind every corner”.
Giorgio Baratti, collezione. Selezione di opere d’arte antica (Grafiche Veneziane, Venice, 2011).
From the Preface by Prof. Giancarlo Sestieri:
“It was with great pleasure that I accepted the invitation from my friend Giorgio Baratti, whom I have had the honour and the pleasure of working with for many years now, to write the catalogue for his exhibit entitled “Old Paintings from the 14th to 18th Century”, which will take place in the prestigious Albergo Posta in Cortina d’Ampezzo. The Albergo Posta is one of the permanent galleries – the other are in Milan on Via Bigli and in Florence on Borgognissanti – of this dynamic and eclectic figure of the Italian and international antiques world, whose personality is tied to, yet goes far beyond, the traditional label that goes with his chosen profession.
He has been, and continues to be, a brilliantly vital part of this world with an open mind not just for the business side, but because he is driven by a profound passion for collecting antiques, first and foremost. His interests lie not just in the vast field of antique paintings, but also in furniture and objets d’art, a specialization nurtured over the years and which reflects his passion for all things beautiful from the past.
I do not want this short introduction to be read as mere flattery of the man. It was written with sincere respect for Giorgio’s professional and human qualities, but also with the greatest respect for the marvelous and unusual old pieces that comprise this show and reflect these qualities. The show mirrors the soul of its curator. It was not put together based on a single criteria, it does not feature one school of painting or one particular era, but it reflects the many and varied interests of a collector who enjoys the challenge of the most diverse expressions the infinite range of international art offers, each piece chosen in line with Giorgio’s own personal taste in art and never straying from his highly selective and critical eye”.